Markets Right Now: Stocks rise on hope for progress on trade

US stocks edge higher as China eases trade tensions

US stocks edge higher as China eases trade tensions

The economic uncertainty has also become a drag on companies.

The world's two largest economies have been locked in protracted battle over Beijing's trade practices that has raised the specter of a global recession. As the series of data including trade and the latest PPI numbers had shown, China's economic conditions had continued to trend downwards to reflect the deterioration. "The markets are believing that there's some credibility in the idea that there may be an interim trade truce, let's call it, where they roll back some of the tariffs, the Chinese would by some stuff, and there would be relief to both economies".

The S&P 500 posted 40 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 89 new highs and 27 new lows. Those smaller companies are viewed as more insulated from the impact of volatile swings in the U.S.

Technology gains led the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq higher, while financials gave the biggest boost to the blue-chip Dow, which closed up for the seventh consecutive session, its longest winning streak since May.

South Korea's KOSPI also gained 0.9%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.5% and Tokyo's Nikkei stock index rose 0.96%.

Health care stocks also helped power a rally for the second day.

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Energy stocks fell 0.44% and were the only decliners among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors as oil prices dipped after a meeting of the OPEC+ alliance yielded no decision on deepening supply cuts. Oilfield services company Schlumberger shed 2.4%. It fell $1.65 to settle at $55.75 a barrel on Wednesday. Higher yields drive interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans higher, which drives up bank profits.

SHORT HEM: Tailored Brands plunged 25.8% after giving investors a dismal third quarter profit forecast and halting its dividend. The pound rocketed to a six-week high on Monday, reversing last week's losses as investors welcomed the British parliament's move to block a no-deal Brexit on October 31. Shares in the direct-to-consumer teeth-straightening company ended 27.5% lower than its opening price. Brent crude oil, the worldwide standard, gave up 70 cents to $60.11 per barrel. Marathon Oil dropped 3.4%.

Sterling traded at $1.2328, little changed following a 0.24% decline on Wednesday after a Scottish court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's suspension of the British Parliament was unlawful. Natural gas rose 2 cents to $2.57 per 1,000 cubic feet. Gold futures shot up to trade 1% higher at $1,518.30 per ounce.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.87 Japanese yen from 107.82 yen on Wednesday.

The euro held steady at $1.1014 but remained near a one-week low.

After a hard August in which concerns about a global recession sparked a scramble into safer assets, investors have been returning to riskier markets this month, encouraged by China and the United States making moves to ease trade tensions and by receding fears of a no-deal Brexit.

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